SEVERITY OF SOME FORMS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: OPINIONS OF FUTURE SECONDARY EDUCATION TEACHERS
Balearic Islands University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Even if academic integrity represents one of the basic principles of the university life (and the rest of the educational levels: primary, secondary, etc.), there are strong evidences revealing that dishonest practices are prevalent in higher education institutions worldwide (Hallak & Poisson, 2002; Poisson, 2010). Moreover, there is a quite wide consensus on the rise in this type of behaviours (Hallak & Poisson, 2002), indicating that the problem needs to be addressed decisively and courageously.
In Spain, to teach at secondary level it is required a post-graduate qualification. Moreover, it is indispensable to have a certificate of pedagogic specialisation gained by doing a course on pedagogical qualification or a Master’s degree in education (European Agency, 2015). In the present article we describe the results of a survey, about academic integrity, carried out amongst 137 students (31,4% males / 68,6% females with a mean age of 26,5 and standard deviation of 7,6) enrolled in the one-year Masters course “Teacher Training” at the Balearic Islands University (Spain) during the academic year 2015-16. The survey was based on the administration of an ad-hoc online questionnaire to the above mentioned sample (89% of the total of students in the course during 2015-16).
The research was aimed at analysing some dimensions regarding the academic dishonest practices (level of perpetration, opinion, causes attributed to, measures to confront them, severity of the dishonesties, etc.) amongst postgraduate students that will be potential secondary school teachers when they finish the Masters course. In this document we present the results of the dimension dedicated at analysing the opinion of the students participating in the study regarding the severity and seriousness of diverse academic dishonest practices. The results shows that students consider more serious dishonest actions related to the elaboration and presentation of academic essays rather than dishonest behaviours linked with taking exams during their university studies. When analysing this results in a comparative way between males and females we do not find statistically significant differences between both groups; when analysing them regarding the scientific area of the students, there is a statistical significant difference that suggests that the students of Humanities and Sciences confer a higher level of gravity to the academic dishonest behaviours than the students of social sciences.
The importance of the results of this study arises from the fact that the participants will be future teachers and they judge some academic dishonest behaviours as not really serious (for example: letting yourself being copied during an exam by another student or the use of notes to copy during exams, etc.), and we wonder what values and respect for probity will transmit to their potential future pupils.
This paper is part of the activities of a project entitled “Evaluación de la calidad del profesorado en universidades de México y España” funded by the “Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente (PRODEP)” of the Secretary of Public Education of the Federal Republic of Mexico.
 Poisson, M. (2010). Corruption and education, Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning UNESCO.
 Hallak, J., & Poisson, M. (2002). Ethics and corruption in education. Paris: UNESCO.
Keywords: Academic integrity, teacher training, pre-service teachers.